The Charge were without three primary/secondary playmakers in Brandon Goodwin, RJ Nembhard Jr. and Dylan Windler. The Delaware Blue Coats took full advantage of this by aggressively pressuring the ball handlers as much as possible. The Charge weren’t ready for this out of the gate and once again dug themselves an early hole.
Cleveland turned the ball over 12 times in the first quarter alone. The Blue Coats used this to get easy looks in transition which allowed them to grab a 38-20 lead after one.
“They [Delaware] have a lot of NBA length,” said coach Dan Geriot after the game. “They’re the best team in the league at scoring off turnovers. Our 12 turnovers in the first quarter showed that we didn’t get used to it quick enough.”
The Charge steadied the ship some in the second thanks to taking better care of the ball as they turned the ball over three times that quarter. The Charge went to the half down 21.
The Charge flipped the script in the third. They came out in a zone which stalled the Blue Coats offense. Delaware was held to just 21 points in the quarter. The Charge used this and a 10 point quarter from Justin James to cut the deficit to 92-82 to start the fourth.
The Blue Coats were able to expose the weaknesses in the zone on the perimeter and in the high/low game in the fourth. The Charge were forced to abandon the zone at times and the defense broke down from there. The Blue Coats registered 38 points in the fourth as they coasted to a 12/point victory.
Delaware was led by Philadelphia 76ers assignees Jaden Springer who seemed to have an answer every time the Charge started to get back into the game. Springer spearheaded the Blue Coats' aggressive defense and was responsible for 7 steals of his own. Springer was able to get whatever he wanted in the half-court offense as well as he finished with 30 points, 6 assists and 9 rebounds on 11 of 19 shooting.
The Charge received 23/point performances from Tacko Fall, Cameron Young and Malik Newman. Justin James also contributed 17 points in the loss.
Up next: The Charge will be taking on the Delaware Blue Coats again Wednesday evening at the Wolstein Center. Tip/off is at 6 p.m. EST.